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Pilgrim House

Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

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December 30 – Your Favorite Photograph

This is your opportunity to tell us about your favorite photograph. We will project your photo on the screen and you will have several minutes to tell about the image. Each person can share up to three photos. If you would like to be part of the program, email photos (.jpg file) to Les Rogers by December 23. Contact Les if you have questions or need technical help.

December 23 – Pilgrim House Holiday Celebration!

Please join us for our always-special intergenerational PH holiday program, complete with group caroling, favorite holiday readings, seasonal music, a performance by the PH Chorale, a special guest (possibly from the far north), favorite foods, and more. Contact Bill Rohde or Mel Aanerud by December 16th if you or the youth in your household have special music or a reading to share. And don’t forget to bring that favorite holiday food for our traditional potluck finger foods feast after the program. See you there!

December 16 – A Moderate Republican

Continuing our series of bringing in moderates to talk with us; Tom Horner was Press Secretary for Senator Durenberger and was the Independent Party candidate for Governor in 2010.

December 9 – What the Election Means

Professor David Schultz is from the Hamline and University of Minnesota Schools of Law. He is the author of 30 books and 100+ articles on various aspects of American politics, election law, and the media and politics, and is regularly interviewed and quoted in the local, national, and international media on these subjects. He is a recurring speaker at Pilgrim House and will speak about the results of the 2018 election.

December 2 – Canoes – A Natural History of North America – Professor Mark Neužil

Professor Mark Neužil Ph.D. Professor, Department of Communication and Journalism University of St. Thomas is co-author of the book Canoes – A Natural History of North America. http://www.markneuzil.com

November 25 – Youth Caucus presentation from The Unitarian Universalist’s General Assembly

Fear Not - Youth Caucus Presentation from the 2018 Kansas City UUA General Assembly. This program by the Youth Caucus is an example of the kind of programs and messages presented at the gathering. Love over fear.


November 18 – Our Traditional Pilgrim House Thanksgiving Celebration

Our PH Thanksgiving program is a not-to-be-missed time of celebration and community, bringing together Pilgrim House members and friends with special music, a performance by the Pilgrim House Chorale, seasonal readings and poetry ... and more. If you or younger members of your family have a musical selection you’d like to share, please contact Bill Rohde by Sunday 11/13. Similarly, if you have a reading you’d like to share, please contact Mel Aanerud. If you would like to sing in the Chorale, the Chorale practices are listed in the Calendar below. And don’t forget to bring a dish to pass for our traditional pot luck feast immediately after the program. See you there!

November 11 – Wilson

Professor Trygve Throntveit, Development Officer and Dean’s Fellow for Civic Studies University of Minnesota, will speak about his book "Power without victory: Woodrow Wilson and the American Internationalist Experiment." This year’s program is at an opportune time, since the First World War ended at 11 O’clock on the 11th day of the 11th month, 1918 - 100 years ago.

November 4 – Minnesota from the Road part 2

Author, photographer and story teller Doug Ohman will be back for the second part of his grand tour of Minnesota’s most beautiful landscapes, buildings and historic sites. He will focus on the Arrowhead and Northern Minnesota. Travel with Doug as he shows photographs many of Minnesota’s most interesting landmarks and icons. Doug will share the stories of how these landmarks became so famous. His pictures and stories will be sure to entertain and bring new interest in more road trips around our great state. Doug is a photographer who has done the series of books of Minnesota churches, cabins, librarians, courthouses, schools, etc.

October 28 – Jim Falbo – Guitarist: from Classical to Pop Classics

Jim Falbo is an eclectic and accomplished classical guitarist, composer, instructor, performer, and music arranger from St. Paul, Minnesota. Jim’s music has been featured on Classical MPR 99.5 KSJN and 88.5 KBEM Jazz radio throughout Minnesota. Jim plays a wide selection of music, specializing in classical European, Latin, contemporary, gypsy jazz, world music, pop classics, and acoustic finger style guitar. Jim has written and recorded several works for the guitar. His compositions are heavily influenced from the romantic era, with European, South American, and even flamenco guitar influences. https://www.jimfalboguitar.com

October 21 – Why the Great Cultures Developed around the Mediterranean

John Watkins is a professor of language on the Mediterranean at the University of Minnesota. Major early great cultures developed around the Mediterranean – he answers why.

October 14 – Scandinavian Gods

We welcome Anatoly Lieberman back to Pilgrim House. He is a professor in the Department of German, Scandinavian and Dutch at the University of Minnesota, is the author of numerous books and articles, and has taught all over the world. He will present The Gods of Scandinavia, before Christianity.

October 7 – Healing Ourselves in Trying Times – Kristen Wernecke

Rev. Kristen K. Wernecke is the author of Choosing Conscious Health for a Vibrant Life, is an integrative health practitioner, practicing massage therapy and energy healing, since 1990, and is a Wellness Specialist at Hazelden. She will be sharing some techniques for reducing stress and finding personal purpose in this turbulent point in American history.

September 30 – Community Support Center -- Why Fundraisers Walked 1,000 Miles

Come learn about the work of this local organization that connects families with long-term solutions to prevent homelessness, solve financial crises, and build long-term relationships. Through partnerships, each participant develops goals and means of working toward them to create stability and work towards sustainability. Learn how volunteers work with staff as a team to provide ongoing support to participants in neighbor-to-neighbor relationships. The presentation will include a problem-solving case study, showing that this is not a one-size-fits all program. Presented by Karen Meyer

Pilgrim House proudly supports the work of the Community Support Center. We serve on their board, and we are a sponsor of and active participants in the Walk a Mile For our Neighbors fundraiser each summer.

Perspectives on Disabilities note program change

TED talks will discuss "Why Design Should Include Everyone" and "Asking for Help is a Strength, Not a Weakness."

Presented by Mary Eskelson.

September 16 – Master Water Stewards: Neighborhood Volunteers Improving Water Quality in the Twin Cities – Paul Gardner

This program offered by the Fresh Water Society. It will be about things we can do at home to improve water quality. Wherever you live, you can make a real difference in the health of our waters! Master Water Stewards is a program that certifies and supports community leaders to install pollution prevention projects that educate community members, reduce pollutants from storm water runoff, and allow more water to soak into the ground before running into storm sewer systems. The program is a partnership between the Freshwater Society and participating cities, watershed management organizations and non-profits.

September 9 – Water Communion

This annual welcome back program is held each year. Join us in song, readings and sharing revitalized connections and community. Bring a small amount of water from a place that is special to you. One by one we will pour our water together into a large bowl and tell why this water is special to you. The combined water is symbolic of our shared faith coming from many different sources.

August 5 – Backyard Bird Watching – Enjoying and Learning

This presentation will be a fun filled event for the whole family. We will explore the varieties of birds you might find in your own backyard and their unique characteristics. It will be an interactive event filled with humor, knowledge and prizes.

Louis Asher and his wife, Lisa Wersal, live in a house which opens up to a wetland in the back – a prime situation for bird watching. However anyone can enjoy our winged friends from a typical yard, park or nature center. Louis retired from 3M Co. (in St. Paul, Minnesota) in 2008 after 39 years and has now devoted time to volunteer on environmental protection issues as well as to enjoy nature. He was president of the St. Paul Audubon Society for two years (2011 – 2013) and is an active member.

Potluck lunch at 11:30. All are invited to a picnic-themed meal at Pilgrim House. Our organizers will provide pulled pork sandwiches, lemonade and iced tea. You can bring your favorite picnic side dishes, fruits, desserts, vegetarian entrees, other beverages, etc. No sign-up needed; just join us for for a relaxing meal and good company.

July 15 – The Minnesota Opera

Have you ever been to an opera, but wish you knew more about it? Join us for a fun and interactive presentation by artists from Minnesota Opera. Through live performance and engaging lecture, these artists will walk you through the history of opera, the people who make it happen, and a day in the life of an opera singer. Whether you are an opera lover or an opera newbie, you won’t want to miss this opportunity to learn about opera from the source itself. Presented by Pablo Siqueiros, Teaching Artist, Minnesota Opera.

June 3 – Flower Communion and Annual Meeting

Bring a flower from your garden to add to the fellowship bouquet, reflecting the beauty of our diversity and what each of us individually brings to it. Take home a flower from the fellowship representing what the fellowship gives back to each of us. This is a program begun in Czechoslovakia that has been held annually before our summer recess for many years. This is will be a short program followed by the Pilgrim House Annual Meeting.

The Annual Meeting will be held in the main hall followed by a taco bar lunch in the fellowship room hosted by the Pilgrim House Board of Directors. Hear a review of last year, plans for next year, and volunteer opportunities, approve a budget, and elect a chair for 2019-2020.

May 20 – Be the Match; National Marrow Donor Program® (NMDP)

For the thousands of people diagnosed every year with life-threatening blood cancers like leukemia and lymphoma, a cure exists. Over the past 25 years Be The Match ®, operated by the National Marrow Donor Program ® (NMDP), has managed the largest and most diverse marrow registry in the world. They work every day to save lives through transplant. Judy Bloom-Martinez is retiring from Be The Match – her work included being a conduit between donors and recipients. She has traveled extensively to deliver or pickup stem cell products.

May 13 – Youth Homelessness

On any given night in the state of Minnesota, 6,000 youth are experiencing homelessness. Alisha Olson, LSW, is a program manager at The Bridge for Youth, a nonprofit that operates a 24/7 emergency shelter program for youth ages 10-17. Alisha currently is working on her Masters Program at Augsburg University, and will be presenting on the impacts of homelessness for youth, and what it looks like within our community. To really understand the issues we will briefly look at the other systems that impact specifically youth homelessness.

Also this morning, the Child Dedication of Josephine Rose Chaffee.

May 6 – Doug Wood – New Books and a Few Songs

He is an author, illustrator, musician, naturalist, wilderness guide, "Minnesota’s renaissance man. He is the creator of the award winning classic children’s book Old Turtle. He publishes critically acclaimed adult titles like Deep Woods, Wild Waters and Paddle Whispers. His two new books are, "Old Turtle: Questions of the Heart" and a new adult book "Deep Woods, Wild Waters: A Memoir" Doug communicates through words and music the inspiration to be found in nature—not as a place to visit, but a place to call home.

April 29 – Microaggressions Part 2

This is a followup to the well-received February 18 program. Jean Strait and Hamline students will share about, and answer your questions on, microaggressions. Expect discussion on how we can change our language to eliminate them. Students will share personal stories so Pilgrim House can understand the impact these comments have on everyday life.

April 22 – For Earth Day – The DeMasi Brothers return to Pilgrim House

Joseph DeMasi and twin brother John are singer/songwriter/humorists and fellow UU’s. Their song and humor takes on such topics as equal rights for all and finding spiritual fulfillment. Their songs and humor are touching and humorous but always thought provoking and unique! They have presented to over 100 UU fellowships throughout the country from CA to OK, from MN to NY to positive reviews and great acclaim. This is an inter-generational program.

April 15 – Healing Ourselves in Trying Times Cancelled due to snow

Kristen Wernecke – author of "Choosing Conscious Health for a Vibrant Life" is an integrative health practitioner, practicing massage therapy and energy healing since 1990. She has also been trained in Chi Gung healing, Emotional Freedom Technique, Psychic Development, Cranial-Sacral therapy and Healing Touch. Kristen teaches classes on Meditation, Chakras, Energy Healing and Mind, Body, Spirit Healing, and is a Wellness Specialist at Hazelden. She will be sharing some techniques for reducing stress and finding personal purpose at this turbulent point in American history.

April 8 – Secrets of the Congdon Mansion

Jim Kimball was the reporter from the Star Tribune who covered the Congdon murder and has written a book about it. He has inside information that is almost funny, if it wasn’t .... well a murder. History Theatre of Saint Paul’s production of "Glensheen: The Musical," is returning July 5-29 – It is a hoot, and is based on this book. Hear the back story of this major news event.

April 1 – Our Traditional Spring Celebration

We are looking for members of the fellowship who would like to be part of the program. If you sing, play an instrument, dance, act, read and/or tell good stories, contact Mel Aanerud to be part of the program. The Pilgrim House Chorale will also perform. Following the program will be Soup Sunday with other accompanying foods for a springtime lunch. All are invited!

March 25 – America and the World after Trump

Tom Hanson is former Foreign Service Officer who has spoken at Pilgrim House several times, both as part of the Great Decisions programs as well as on Sunday mornings. Tom is one of the most sought-after commentators on Foreign Policy in the Twin Cities. He will discuss his view of the dramatic changes made by the Trump administration to our international alliances, trade agreements, and moral leadership around the world.

March 18 – Miles Lord

Roberta Walburn is an attorney and author of the new book Miles Lord: The Maverick Judge Who Brought Corporate America to Justice. This is the story of Miles Lord (1919–2016) who rose from humble beginnings on Minnesota’s Iron Range to become one of the most colorful and powerful judges in the country, described as "an unabashed Prairie populist" and "a live-wire slayer of corporate behemoths, he came of age alongside a cadre of young Midwestern social-gospel progressives, including Hubert H. Humphrey, Eugene McCarthy, and Walter Mondale.

March 11 – Project Zawadi

Project Zawadi’s mission is to support Tanzanian children in achieving their desired educational goals in order to live fulfilling and productive lives. Project Zawadi pursues this mission by working to significantly improve educational quality, safety and access for students in our program area. Through a network of local Tanzanian teachers, Counselors, students and families get the support they need for success.

March 4 – Joint Religious Legislative Coalition

There will be a program on the legislative aims of the Joint Religious Legislative Coalition and an invitation for any and all to participate in a day on the hill to meet with your state legislative delegation and convince them that the aims of this coalition, of Jewish, Lutheran, Catholic and Unitarian Universalist congregations, is worth their votes. Last year over 600 people attended. We are looking to increase that number and hopefully have more influence. Additionally, there will be some ideas on how to be more effective at lobbying your state legislators.

This will be a shortened program, so we can have lunch and start the auction by noon.

February 25 – Dismantling the Gender Binary

What is gender? Gender is the way we experience our bodies, how we identify ourselves, and how we express ourselves. Traditionally, gender has been on a binary- male and female. My body is male, I identify as male, I express myself as male. Or female. This is a binary that many assume to be based in genetics. But it is not. There are people all over the gender spectrum. If we think in terms of male and female, people may identify as both male and female, neither male nor female, sometimes male sometimes female. But people may also not even include male or female – no gender. Let us be in conversation about dismantling the binary.

Jane Smith is a ministerial intern at First Unitarian Society of Minneapolis and a student at Meadville Lombard Theological School.

February 18 – Microaggressions

Sometimes, casual comments we don’t think about can be just as damaging as obvious racial slurs. These kinds of comments are called Microaggressions. When talking about racism, we usually think of open racial insults and prejudices as examples, but unintentional things like making assumptions about a person of color’s background based on stereotypes can have a "constant, continual and cumulative" effect. Jean Strait and a panel of Hamline students will come and share with us what microaggressions are, how we identify them, and how we can change our language to eliminate them.

February 11 – Running towards the Fast Bear

The speaker is Lois Mineau (Meno). Dennis Jones is her mentor/teacher and friend on the healing spiritual path. Lois is a Sweat Lodge Keeper in Annandale, MN. She is Ojibway. (Dennis Jones had to cancel, but Lois agreed to speak).

This talk will be about Lois’s experience with a Native American Fast on an island in Ontario without food or water for several days. As "Me too" survivor I never could trust the spirit that guides completely. Is the creator really available? Is the creator dependable? Can the creator be trusted? The fast was my attempt to face my fear of darkness and lack of faith in the creator.

February 4 – A Conversation about Racism

Over the last several years the Unitarian Universalist Association has been on a rigorous mission to confront and transform its own institutional structures and congregational cultures and practices that have marginalized and excluded people of color. The UUA has made a serious reckoning to the mistakes made during the Black Empowerment Controversy in the late 1960’s. My talk will include perspectives from the UUA book read, Centering: Navigating Race, Authenticity, and Power in Ministry," edited by Mitra Rahnema and "Race in Minnesota: A Good Time for the Truth," edited by Sun Yung Shin.

Stephanie McCullough-Cain is a 2016 graduate of United Theological Seminary and is working toward fellowship in the UUA as a Chaplain.

January 28 – Dick Shelton – The Edict of Torda

The 500th anniversary of Luther’s Theses at Wittenberg fell in 2017, and the 450th anniversary of the Edict of Torda falls in 2018. The 50 years intervening between Wittenberg and Torda witnessed a revolution in the cultural and spiritual life of Europe and Western Civilization. The Edict of Torda, promulgated in the unlikely province of Transylvania, has become one of the defining moments of Unitarianism, and while modern UUs have attached a rather overly-heroic mythology to that event, it remains a remarkable moment in the history of religious freedom -- one whose lessons we are still fighting to realize even today. This program examines the background that led to that moment, and what it really meant in the context of the religious upheaval in Europe of the 16th century and beyond.

January 21 – Richard Terrell and Larry McDonough Return with The Music of Resistance

The sixth UU principal sets "the goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all." In this "mostly music" service, Pianist/Composer Larry McDonough and Saxophonist/Poet Richard Terrill will offer contemporary poems and songs from the folk and jazz traditions that instruct and inspire in the pursuit of resistance to power.

January 14 – Leaping Tall Buildings in a Single Bound: Finding Your Superpower in Tumultuous Times

Presented by Tom Esch.

You are Wonder Woman! You are Superman! You just don’t always feel very courageous. Many of us feel small, helpless and ineffective against the powerful-worldly forces. There seem to be a lot of "tall buildings" in our way these days. We are smack dab in the middle of some very tumultuous times--on multiple levels. It is time to be courageous and access our super powers. And there is always that kryptonite, those things that make us weak. What if our strength was not where we thought it was? What if our power was somehow hiding in our weakness? And what can we do, practically, about our current dilemmas? Come prepared to explore the questions.

January 7 – Minnesota from the Road

Travel with photographer/storyteller Doug Ohman as he photographs many of Minnesota’s most interesting landmarks and Icons. Doug will share the stories of how landmarks became so famous. His pictures and stories will be sure to entertain and bring new interest in more road trips around our great state. Doug has shared many of his books with Pilgrim House. He has done the series of books of Minnesota churches, cabins, librarians, courthouses, schools, etc.

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